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Pathology/Meaning of pathology report


I recently had a subcutaneous nodule (considered to be a recurring melanoma) removed from my arm, near the site of a 1.76mm nodular melanoma, removed three years ago.  The pathology report is hard to understand. I was subsequently sent for a ct! which is clear. My oncologist advised that at least 50 out of 100 people with my pathology report are deceased in 5 years.  I don't understand the report and the doctor did not specify a stage of the disease.  Can you help?  What stage is this?  What does this mean?  Sections include skin and subcutaneous tissue show a nodule located in the lower dermis and subcutaneous tissue comprised of abundant melanophages with intervening melanoma cells. These melanoma cells are mostly spindle and some epithelioid and demonstrate marked nuclear pleomorphism, prominent nucleoli and pigmentation. The overlying epidermis is histologically unremarkable. This nodule may represent a satellite nodule or local recurrence. Clinical correlation is advisable. There is involvement of one peripheral margin.

Hello ML

Staging is based on various criteria.
1) thickness of the tumor - how deep it is. Thinner the melanoma better is the prognosis
2) mitotic rate - number of mitosis or abnormally dividing cells
3) presence of ulceration
4) involvement of lymph nodes
5) spread to distant sites in the body ( metastasis)

T-size of tumor, N - lymph node involvement, M - metastasis
Based on the size and no ulceration it is T2a, if there is no lymph node involvement and spread to other areas (CT) is clear. So this is T2a,N0M0
Making it stage I B
Stage IB: The 5-year survival rate is around 92%. The 10-year survival is around 86%.

Of course this is a rough estimate based on information provided by you. Please contact your pathologist/ doctor for more accurate report.


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Neha Dahiya MD


Help patients understand the medical terminology of their lab results and / or tissue biopsy reports.


I am a pathologist and director of clinical laboratory services. I have been a practicing pathologist for last 9 years in a 350 bed multi specialty hospital laboratory in India.

Indian association of pathologists and microbiologists.
International Academy of Cytology
International association of Pathologists - Indian division
Indian association of Cytology

MD (pathology) MBA

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